Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Over the next day, as you travel around your community, imagine what life would be like if 95% of the homes, businesses and industry lost power. Imagine that that loose of power is not because of a few breaks in the power lines but ten’s thousands for breaks. Imagine tree limbs or whole trees falling upon the lines, sometimes breaking the line and in other occasions whole trees being held up on a forty-five degree angle by a sagging power line.

Imagine life without electricity for day after day. You cannot go to work as there is not power. Your freezer starts to thaw and the meat will go bad. Some who have gas stoves could eat well for a day or two as you quickly devour the thawing meat. But what would you do if your stove was electric? The gas station has no power to pump gas and the few stations that have power have longs so long that it could take you five hours to get to the pump. You ration your driving and food only so far until you have to go seeking for food. Imagine trying to sleep in 85 degree weather without air conditioning.

That is what is taking place throughout southeastern Texas. Power is slowly being restored. Of the 2.3 million electrical customers, only a little over 100,000 did not lose power. Imagine an area stretching from Oshawa to Hamilton to Orangeville and Jackson's Point without power and you will have will have a sense of the scope of damage. Today, only 40% of the homes and businesses have power. It will be two to three more weeks before all homes and businesses will have power.

I am part of a team that is working out of the Lufkin Texas Corps. We have six mobile kitchens assigned to us. Today we served a little over 9,000 meals out of those locations. Lufkin itself has most of its power back on, but in the three counties around Lufkin only about 15% of the homes have power.

Watch for further reports. Below is a picture of tonight’s meal. We ordered in pizza for the crews that have given yeomen service. We also ordered in fried shrimp, fried gator and blackened gator. That’s right alligator. For the last three nights I have eaten both fried gator and blackened gator. The picture is from tonight as I am about to have another piece of gator.


Josh said...

In this weeks weekly paper, they made a comment about the parallels of the past few weeks to that of 2005 with Katrina and Rita, just the other way around. They talked about how one storm pretty much goes unnoticed because of the other one. Gustav is being overlooked for Ike now because New Orleans was spared, whereas the area between Lafayette and Baton Rouge (especially Baton Rouge) and the coast were devastated. But the storm is overlooked as people focus on what Ike did.

In 2005, all the focus was on Katrina and what it did to New Orleans while the western side of the state around Lake Charles which was slammed by Rita (a storm which I believe hit stronger than Katrina did) was for the most part ignored because everyone was so focused on Katrina.

Things are for the most part back to normal here at LSU. I don't know what its like outside the immediate campus area, but things are improving. I imagine there are still those places that are still struggling to recover though, but you wouldn't know that because the media is wholeheartedly focused on what Ike did to the Texas coast.

Its a good thing that both in 2005 and this month, that neither place got hit with two storms in the same place one after another. Imagine the toll that would take. Just from Gustav alone, current campus estimates of damages are around $12 million and could be higher. The School of Music alone is estimated to cost about $850,000 in damages.

Jenn said...

eiw!!!! so is blackened gator a well done opposed to medium rare?

Evie said...

Josh - thanks for the updated information about Baton Rouge and Lafayette. You know the American attention span - moving from one thing to the next to the next....

Joann - blackening is a Cajun way of cooking with particular spices: cayenne and black peppers, garlic and onion powders, salt. These spices are blended into a dry rub that one works into the meat. No other coating is used and the meat is grilled so that the top is blackened, hence the name. It's not a traditional Cajun method as commonly believed; it was popularized in the 1960s in New Orleans. I love blackened chicken.

Dave - does gator taste like chicken or is it gamy?

Evie said...

Jenn - sorry! I forgot who had posted the previous comment. Blame it on old age.

Dave said...

Evie, it did taste somewhat like dark meat chicken.

Barbara said...

Ewwwwww! yuck!!!!